Gray Day

Did I say before that my Dad used to assign colors to days?  I guess I did.  Dad was an interesting guy; I wish I’d known him better.  He died when he was 51, and I was 28.  I was busy, very busy with 3 small children.  I was also angry, because I viewed his death as preventable. 

I do have some memories, mostly in the form of photographs.  There are lots of pictures of me, I was a first child, a curse in itself.  Of course, the middle children are also cursed, as are the babies.  The fact that I dare to type “baby” in reference to a youngest sibling in a family indicates a curse. 

There are photos of me with Dad, washing the car, washing the ambulance, swinging, just about as many as one might imagine.  I look at them sometimes and wonder what he would think of the world we live in today.  Remember, he checked out in 1979, almost 30 years ago.  A lot of water is over the dam since then.  In the early ’50’s, before the days of paramedics and ambulance services he charged $10 to drive his hearse out to take someone to the hospital, or nursing home, or heaven forbid, back to our funeral home.  Had one of those rides lately?  A little more, for sure. 

I remember sometimes asking, “Why didn’t you run the siren?”  He would look sad and reply that it as a “slow call”.  We all knew that that meant we would be taking a nap during the services a few days later., and every day until then.  The grieving families who gathered below us didn’t need screaming, running, playing children over their heads.

Did I get sidetracked?  I guess so.  It’s a gray snowy day today.  But the real problem is that someone else has passed from this life, and it takes me back every time now.  I’m drifting along in this earth without my parents, something I never really considered before it happened.  I have a wonderful family, the best husband on earth, some great friends, but the moment you no longer have parents is a defining moment in your life.  I hope you don’t have that happen to you anytime soon.

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